The Bulls defended with terrific discipline and intensity, but truth be told, the Hawks wouldn't have beaten anyone with the effort they showed in this one. A quick run down the box score clearly illustrates how Atlanta failed to bring the necessary intensity to compete.
The Bulls won the battle of the boards by a margin of plus-20, held Atlanta to 29 percent shooting and got to the line 33 times to the Hawks' 10. As Chicago fought for loose balls and forced the pace in transition, the Hawks were consistently flat-footed.
From a historical perspective, the Hawks scored the second-fewest points in the first half (20) in the shot clock era and finished with a franchise low of 58 for the game.
Carlos Boozer had his eighth double-double in his last nine tries, finishing with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Things were far too easy for Boozer and Noah in the paint, as the pair combined for 29 rebounds against a lackadaisical interior effort from Josh Smith and Al Horford.
Atlanta looked like a team that had lost five of six coming in, and there are now very real questions as to whether coach Larry Drew has lost the team. After a 20-10 start to the season, the Hawks' effort has clearly waned, which has led to a 1-6 record in their last seven games. If things don't turn around in a hurry, the Hawks could conceivably slip out of the playoff race and give Josh Smith a reason to leave town this summer.
In other words, it might be time to hit the panic button in Atlanta.
The Bulls improved to 21-15 and pushed their home record back above .500 with the easy win.
Final Score: Bulls 97, Hawks 58